Is the World’s Richest Man a Libertarian?

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

During this holiday season, we have something to cheer about.

Move over, Charles Koch!

It looks like Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and SpaceX and the world’s richest man, is a libertarian, with a small “l”.

In a couple of interviews — with The Wall Street Journal and then with the Babylon Bee, a popular Christian conservative alternative to The Onion — Elon Musk made a number of statements suggesting his libertarian leanings.

In a half-hour interview with The Wall Street Journal, Musk came out against the $7,500 tax credit for electric cars, or any subsidies for energy, including oil & gas.

He thinks the federal deficit is monstrous and headed for a disaster, he is opposed to the entire Biden infrastructure legislation and he thinks government spending is far less productive than private investment.

Musk is a registered independent, who says he’s “half Democrat” and “half Republican,” meaning that he is “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” That’s the definition of a libertarian. (His views also demonstrate the bankruptcy of the divisive “left-right” labels.)

He recently moved Tesla’s headquarters from California to Texas. He’s a major critic of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who he labels “U-Haul’s Salesman of the Year.”

Of course, I’m prejudiced, as Tesla is the largest stock position in my investment portfolio, and one I recommend in my newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies

The stock has increased eight-fold in the past two years! Musk is a genius who is taking full advantage of the electric car craze. He is now estimated to be worth $288 billion and #1 on the Forbes “400 Richest People in America” list.

Time Magazine named Musk “Person of the Year” for his revolutionary visions both on Earth (Tesla) and above the Earth (SpaceX).

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, Elon Musk.

I met Musk at the Baron Investment Conference in New York several years ago. Ron Baron considers Musk a genius and has invested heavily in his companies.

Ron is a true believer in the Tesla CEO, and Baron shareholders, like me, have profited handsomely.

Baron just released its latest quarterly report, with a big section on why Ron Baron claims Musk is “the most accomplished and consequential engineer on our planet.” 

Baron wrote that Musk is the CEO of two leading “disruptive” technology businesses. The first is the electric vehicle, extended range battery, alternative energy and software business (Tesla Inc.). The second is the privately owned rocket ship, launch and satellite broadband provider, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX).

According to a recent survey published in the Science Times, Tesla and SpaceX were ranked as “the most attractive firms for leading engineering students (to seek employment) in the U.S.” The same survey reports that “the electric car company topped the list and the private space company ranked second.”

Baron is still bullish on both. He stated, “We expect Tesla and SpaceX to each become substantially larger, more profitable and much more valuable during the next 10 years.”

Ron Baron’s motto is “we invest in people, not businesses.” (“Maxims of Wall Street,” p. 157).

Musk Pays More Than His Fair Share of Taxes

Musk has put his money where his mouth is. He says he’s in the 51% marginal tax bracket and will voluntarily pay billions in taxes to the IRS this year (by selling his stock), despite the fact that revenues that go to government spending are far less productive than those that go to the private capital markets.

Billionaires like Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, Ray Dalio and George Soros support higher taxes on the wealthy.

They are all hypocrites. Why don’t they voluntarily send in their billions like Musk has if they truly believe they are undertaxed?

New Edition of ‘Maxims of Wall Street’ is Out!

Speaking of quotes, it took five months but… I am happy to announce that last week I received copies of the new, second printing of the 10th-anniversary edition of “The Maxims of Wall Street,” hot off the press at Lake Book in suburban Chicago… and it includes some great new quotes and stories.

For example, in the new edition, I tell the story “A Young Widow’s Lazy Way to Riches.”

A young widow inherited a lot of securities from her deceased husband. Not knowing anything about finance, she took a very simple approach to this newfound wealth. She kept only those stocks that continued to send her regular dividend checks and sold any stocks which omitted dividends, or which didn’t pay any dividends at all. Over the years, her wealth increased dramatically, and she died a wealthy woman. 

See p. 184 under the section, “Dividend-paying stocks.” All quotes are divided by subject.

Here’s a couple of other great quotes just added to the second printing:

“If you mix your politics with your investment decisions, you’re making a big mistake.” — Warren Buffett (p. 149)

“There are two kinds of people who lose money: those who know nothing and those who know everything” — Henry Kaufman (“Dr. Doom”) (p. 122)

“The trend is your friend until the bend is at the end.” — Kurt Merkel (p. 115)

“The first rule of racing is to break off the rearview mirror.” — An Italian race car driver (p. 64)

There are many others that have been added to this edition.

“Maxims” has been endorsed by Warren Buffett, Jack Bogle, Alex Green, Barron’s and many others. Kim Githler, the president of the MoneyShow, says: “It’s my favorite book. Every quote is a lesson in finance.”

Dennis Gartman, the editor of the Gartman Letter, says it best: “It’s amazing the depth of wisdom one can find in just or two lines from your book. I have it on my desk and refer to it daily.” 

Half Off if You Order More than One Copy

I autograph, date and number each copy. To order your copies now, go to www.skousenbooks.com. The price is $20 for the first copy, and all additional copies are $10 each. They make a great gift for investors, clients, friends and relatives.

If you order a box (32 copies), the price is only $300 (less than $10 per copy). As Hetty Green, America’s first female millionaire, said, “When I see a good thing going cheap, I buy a lot of it.” (p. 38)

I pay all postage if the books are mailed inside the United States.

Start the new year off with a fresh copy of “The Maxims of Wall Street.” You’ll be glad you did.

Jan. 1 Deadline: Last Chance to Get $50 Off Early Bird Discount to FreedomFest!

We’ve added some great new speakers to FreedomFest. We just confirmed Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist famous for revealing U.S. global surveillance programs based on classified documents provided by Edward Snowden. You won’t want to miss his talk.

We also have Ben Stein and Arthur B. Laffer. In the famous scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Ben Stein plays the boring teacher who refers to the Laffer Curve as “voodoo economics.” To watch that memorable one-minute scene, go to Voodoo Economics — YouTube.

In 2002, Ben Stein was our keynote speaker at FEEFest, the precursor to FreedomFest. Now, 20 years later, he will make his second appearance… and he has agreed to debate Arthur B. Laffer, one of the founders of supply-side economics and the inventor of the famous Laffer Curve. They will appear together on stage at FreedomFest 2022 to debate the question, “Should the Rich Pay More in Taxes? Is the Laffer Curve Voodoo Economics?”

After the debate, Ben Stein will host a luncheon on the topic, “Rich and Famous: My Life in Beverly Hills and Hollywood.”

Get $50 Off the Early Bird Special — It Ends Jan. 1! 

The dates are July 13-16, 2022, at the Mirage Hotel & Casino (our first time there).

Make plans now to attend the “greatest libertarian show on earth” by registering at www.freedomfest.com. Or call Hayley at 1-866-860-3733, ext. 202.

Our early bird special is $399 per person, but you can get $50 off that if you register between now and Jan. 1 using the code EAGLE50. You pay only $349, a super bargain. Register today!

Here’s to a happy and most prosperous New Year to my Skousen CAFÉ subscribers.

Good investing, AEIOU,

You Nailed It!

Senator Rand Paul on his Fights with Dr. Fauci

A friend of mine sent me the bestseller “The Real Anthony Fauci,” which is ranked the #1 book on Amazon.com. It was written by Robert Kennedy, Jr., who is famous for his criticisms of vaccines.

As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, Anthony Fauci has become a household name and a controversial figure.

At the age of 81, he is extremely defensive about his views and concerned about his legacy. He reminds me of General George Patton, who was the oldest general in the army during World War II. He knew it would be his last war, and he wanted to go down in history as a great general.

The COVID-19 pandemic is Dr. Fauci’s last stand, and his reputation is at stake.

His most vociferous opponent in government is Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky. He has called for Fauci to resign because, as director of the NIAID, he had encouraged the funding of infectious disease research in Wuhan, China.

Senator Paul explains his views in this new 30-minute interview with John Stossel:

Rand Paul on Vaccine Mandates, Inflation, Socialism and His Fights with Fauci – YouTube

In addition, Senator Paul explains why he is opposed to the mask and vaccine mandates.

Senator Paul is a great libertarian hero who has spoken frequently at FreedomFest. He is running for reelection in 2022 and hopes to soon confirm his availability to speak at next year’s big show, which will be held July 13-16, 2022. Stay tuned!

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